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'A love of learning for life in all its fullness'
'A love of learning for life in all its fullness'

Progression in music at Crosby Ravensworth

Progression of skills across our curriculum

Our music curriculum provides all pupils with opportunities to increase their knowledge and understanding and develop their skills, confidence and expression in music through singing and playing melodic instruments, tuned and un-tuned percussion; exploring sounds; and active and passive listening. 


The progress maps attached below take the subject content from the National Curriculum and build on each area, making expected outcomes for pupils clear and more prescriptive for both the specialist and non-specialist music educator.  Within each progress map, each National Curriculum (NC) objective is cross referenced.


As children in our very small school are taught in mixed-age classes, these maps should be applied flexibly.  Although they provide a broad indication of end of year expectations, our aim is always to ensure that our pupils have attained national expectations by the end of each key stage.  Each pupil's route towards this goal is unlikely to be as linear as the tables might suggest.


Subject content – Key stage 1

Pupils should be taught to:

1.1 use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes

1.2 play tuned and untuned instruments musically

1.3 listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music

1.4 experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

Subject content – Key stage 2

Pupils should be taught to:

2.1 play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression

2.2 improvise and compose music for a range of purposes using the inter-related dimensions of music

2.3 listen with attention to detail and recall sounds with increasing aural memory

2.4 use and understand staff and other musical notations

2.5 appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians

2.6 develop an understanding of the history of music.

Progression in Musical Vocabulary across our school

As everyone knows, the vocabulary of music is not finite: the list below is widely shared on many school websites to offer some form of structured progression.  At Crosby, we use this list as a starting point and aim that by the end of each key stage, pupils will have developed the ability to use and explain the majority of the corresponding terms below, along with many others that do not appear. 


It is important to note the significance of the term 'by the end of each key stage' in a very small school such as ours.  Children in our mixed-age classes learn alongside one another and experience a broad range of subject-specific terms throughout their three years in class 1 (EYFS & KS1) and four years in class 2 (Key stage 2 combined).  We offer no attempt to ration the vocabulary listed in an age-restricted manner.


Key Stage One

Year 1 

Pulse, rhythm, pitch, rap, improvise, compose, melody, bass guitar, drums, decks, perform, singers, keyboard, percussion, trumpets, saxophones, Blues, Baroque, Latin, Irish Folk, Funk, pulse, rhythm, pitch, groove, audience, imagination.

Year 2 

Keyboard, drums, bass, electric guitar, saxophone, trumpet, pulse, rhythm, pitch, improvise, compose, audience, question and answer, melody, dynamics, tempo, perform/performance, audience, rap, Reggae, glockenspiel.


Key Stage Two

Year 3

Structure, intro/introduction, verse, chorus, improvise, compose, pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, synthesizer, hook, melody, texture, structure, electric guitar, organ, backing vocals, hook, riff, melody, Reggae, pentatonic scale, imagination, Disco.

Year 4 

Keyboard, electric guitar, bass, drums, improvise, compose, melody, pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, texture, structure, compose, improvise, hook, riff, melody, solo, pentatonic scale, unison, rhythm patterns, musical style, rapping, lyrics, choreography, digital/electronic sounds, turntables, synthesizers, by ear, notation, backing vocal, piano, organ, acoustic guitar, percussion, birdsong, civil rights, racism, equality.

Year 5 

Rock, bridge, backbeat, amplifier, chorus, bridge, riff, hook, improvise, compose, appraising, Bossa Nova, syncopation, structure, Swing, tune/head, note values, note names, Big bands, pulse, rhythm, solo, ballad, verse, interlude, tag ending, strings, piano, guitar, bass, drums, melody, cover, Old-school Hip Hop, Rap, riff, synthesizer, deck, backing loops, Funk, scratching, unison, melody, cover, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, Soul, groove, riff, bass line, brass section, harmony, melody.

Year 6 

Style indicators, melody, compose, improvise, cover, pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure, dimensions of music, Neo Soul, producer, groove, Motown, hook, riff, solo, Blues, Jazz, improvise/improvisation, by ear, melody, riff, solo, ostinato, phrases, unison, Urban Gospel, civil rights, gender equality, unison, harmony


The Interrelated Dimensions of Music - Definitions

Pulse – the regular heartbeat of the music; its steady beat.

Rhythm – long and short sounds or patterns that happen over the pulse.

Pitch – high and low sounds. Tempo – the speed of the music; fast or slow or in-between.

Dynamics – how loud or quiet the music is.

Timbre – the unique quality of the sound e.g. the trumpet has a very different sound quality to the violin.

Texture – layers of sound. Layers of sound working together make music very interesting to listen to.

Structure – how a piece of music is put together e.g. an introduction, verse and chorus, middle 8, ending.

Notation – how a piece of music is represented when written down through symbols.